Liberal Democrat Leader Sir Ed Davey MP has called on the Military Covenant to be extended to cover Afghan citizens, who have put their lives at risk to work for British troops and organisations over the last 20 years.
The Armed Forces Covenant protects UK military veterans and their families. Writing in the ‘I’ newspaper, Ed Davey has called for the Covenant to be extended to include Afghan soldiers and interpreters who have been working with the British forces in Afghanistan.
He says: “The UK owes a huge debt of gratitude to all the Afghan citizens who heroically took a stand and worked alongside our brave men and women on the ground over the past 20 years.
Without their selflessness, we simply couldn’t have achieved what we did and undoubtedly more lives would’ve been lost. It is only right that their huge contribution is recognised and rewarded.
We must start by ensuring all Afghan interpreters, and their families, are able to come to the UK. Now is not the time for arbitrary caps on refugees – unless we offer sanctuary they will be hunted down by the Taliban, and we will see a humanitarian crisis unfold before our eyes.”
Ed Davey will table an amendment to the Armed Forces Bill when it comes before Parliament and it is likely to receive widespread support.
The Liberal Democrats also want to see the Armed Forces Covenant expanded to include Afghans, particularly those who acted as interpreters, to ensure they are not disadvantaged as they look to build a new life here in the UK.